Wick Park Revitalization Project

Please join Defend Youngstown and Youngstown CityScape with the professional services of The Urban Design Center of Northeast Ohio in our initial meeting for Community-wide input in the WICK PARK REVITALIZATION PROJECT.

What: Share sense of history of Wick Park, information about the current conditions, restrictions on its use; discuss community goals and intended outcome of the park planning process. Chance to sign up for hands on projects in the park.
Who: All interested individuals, businesses, institutions, neighborhood organizations, non-profits.
When: Saturday, March 15, 2008, 11:00 am
Where: Wick Park Pavilion

Please RSVP to youngstowncityscape@sbcglobal.net or 330-742-4040

Obama at YSU

Obama came to Youngstown State University to speak to a crowd of 6000 today. I was down in the pit with a couple of friends, about ten feet from the stage, and had a good view of him. Took some pictures (and also some video, but I held the camera up and down instead of side to side, and am still trying to figure out how I can flip it so I can share with you all–if anyone knows how, please send me instructions and advice in an e-mail!). Anyway, Obama was his usual inspirational self, and the crowd adored him, as it seems they do everywhere he goes. On my way out of the rally, I was stopped by a reporter from the Chicago Tribune, and interviewed about what I thought of Obama and his ideas for Youngstown. I was supportive, but in my own usual manner demanded more than I heard. I don’t want this area to find itself just another manufacturing region again, like it was. I want green jobs, and a creative economy, and investment in education for the rural and urban poor. I want a community college for this valley. Bringing manufacturing jobs here will help the economy in that it’ll put people to work, but manufacturing made this town an industrial wasteland in the past, and we still have environmental problems because of it–lots of brownfields to be turned green in the future, is what I’d like to see–but it’s pretty much being on key if a politician comes to a non-working working class town and tells them they’ll bring working class jobs back to their region. I, on the other hand, want something better for us. If you read the Chicago Tribune tomorrow and I’m quoted in there somewhere, give me a shout out to let me know!

Here are a couple of photos that I think came out nice. Isn’t it strange how public figures really do look like they do on TV and in photos?



Art Youngstown

Art Youngstown Inc. is pleased to announce:

Call to Artists for the The Second Exhibition
Artists (18 y.o. and older) may deliver their paintings, sculptures, films and other mediums of art for on Saturday, March 1st, 2008 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm & Sunday, March 2nd, 2008 from noon to 4:00 pm. Artists are asked to present only those items which are to be offered for sale and please do not include any items previously shown by Art Youngstown Inc.

Please visit ArtYoungstown.org for further details. For more information call 330-788-5678, or contact Robert Dubec at bdubec@zoominternet.net or 330-782-0346 or Judith Szabo at j_szabo@sbcglobal.net.

The Second Exhibition
Friday, March 14, 2008
7:00 pm to 10:30 pm

The Great Room at 25 E. Boardman Street, Ohio One Bldg.
The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Independent Film Night
Local filmmakers will present productions on Friday, March 21st, 2008 from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm.

Please Visit our Virtual Gallery courtesy of Karen Wennberg.

And thank you to The Youngstown Club, Emerine Estates Winery & attendees to make our February 16th Wine Tasting at The Youngstown Club a success!

Come to The Colored Museum

The Oakland Center for the Arts is presenting the timeless play The Colored Museum, written by George C. Wolfe, director of the Broadway smash, Angels in America. The Colored Museum takes a satirical look at what “color” is in America today.

Coupling irreverent wit with deep compassion, Wolfe’s play tackles and topples the myths and stereotypes of black culture, from slavery and Ebony magazine to hairstyles and Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun. All the sketches revolve around identity issues: the loss of it, the escape from it, the search for it, and the humor in it. The audience will be taken on a journey that parodies preoccupations with image, hair, class, culture and fame.

Directed by Johnny R. Herbert, the outstanding cast consists of Kim Adkins, Kenneth Brown, Dixie Crystals, Samantha Daisher, Thomas Fields, Carla Gipson, Brandon Martin, and Lois Thornton with choreography by Nikita Jones. Gallery artist Fred “the Count” Molten will display his work in the Star Gallery throughout the run of the show.

Produced by special arrangements with Broadway Play Publishing and underwritten by Michael Morley. Performances are February 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23 at 8pm and February 17 at 2pm.

For ticket information, call the Oakland Center for the Arts, 220 West Boardman St, Youngstown, Ohio, at (330) 746-0404, or visit www.oaklandcenter.com for more information.

Vindicator Review

Valley24.com Review

Warren Tribune-Chronicle Preview

New additions

Two new additions to the Outlook household, Yuki (Snow) and Kokoro (Heart–because he has a faint heart murmur the vet on duty at the shelter told me). Yuki has blue eyes and Kokoro green–otherwise I’d never be able to tell them apart.  They’ve been playing for the past five hours straight, and have finally settled down into these positions that compel me to take many many photos of them. This house is brimming with cuteness at the moment.



More on Americans and reading

Okay, one more entry before I head out for the weekend.  This one is a review by Laura Miller on a book called The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby.  It seems to be related to the ideas Ursula Le Guin addresses in her essay “Staying Awake” in the most current issue of Harpers.  I like this excerpt of Miller’s review of the book, which points out some of the weaknesses of Jacoby’s (and probably Le Guin’s) examples they sometimes use to illustrate points that have actual substance, which undermines their ability to persuade some people to see what they are seeing (like David points out about his reaction to the excerpt of Le Guin’s essay I posted the other day).  Miller:

I don’t entirely disagree with Jacoby on many of these points. As a literary critic, I too worry about the dwindling numbers of Americans who read for pleasure. Furthermore, like Jacoby (and Caleb Crain, in a recent New Yorker article about the prospect of a “post-literate” America), I believe that reading fosters a particular mental stamina, discipline, creativity and flexibility that can’t be acquired from other media. In a future dominated by complex social systems, technology and science, only people who can think in this fashion will have enough understanding of how the world works to actually run it. And to remain truly democratic, America should be made up of citizens who are able to think that way.

Nevertheless, Jacoby has a hard time separating her legitimate worries about America’s eroding attention span from simple disagreements of taste and generational preferences. She dismisses certain forms of popular art out of hand, automatically presuming that her readers will agree. But I, for one, see no reason why newspaper articles on “the newest trends in hip-hop” should be written off as no more than craven pandering to distractible young readers; the subject is interesting, and worthy, in its own right. I might not equate Bob Dylan with Milton, as some overzealous rock critics have apparently done, but I’m also aware that the pop fluff of one era (the operas of Puccini, for example) often becomes the classical repertoire of the next. When Jacoby hauls out that old, shopworn story about crowds gathering at the docks to grab the latest installment of a Dickens novel, she’s not accounting for the fact that Dickens had about the same artistic status in his day as the creators of “The Sopranos” have in ours — and I’m not sure that the Dickens novel in question (“The Old Curiosity Shop”) emerges as the better work in the comparison.

Le Guin uses the story of crowds gathering at the docks for the latest installment of a Dickens novel too.  It’s a good story, but I think Miller has a good point on its weakness as an example because it’s both shopworn and also doesn’t fully examine or contextualize the example.  In any case, I’m glad people are talking about these things, and trying to define what it is that reading does that other forms of engagement and entertainment do not, and what reading, too, does not do.

Okay, I laughed

Hillary Clinton was in Youngstown yesterday, speaking to workers at a nearby GM plant.  One reason why I always love to read local and regional blogs during political periods is to see what the politicians face from the locals, who are not all that impressed and loverly with politicians due to trust issues we have in our history of corruption here.  Here is my laugh for the day, from the My Friend Cleveland Blog:

Hillary Clinton is in Ohio. Yesterday she stopped by the General Motors plant where she held up a pair of boxing gloves to indicate that a fighter was needed in the White House. This was an interesting and useful tactic until Gus Johnson, a 15-year vet of the GM plant, offered to box Clinton so she could prove her fighter status. Needless to say Clinton will probably be sticking with the whole “pen is the mightier than the sword” thing now. Clinton is supposed to be at a Cleveland-area high school today, of course we don’t know which one because Fox hasn’t learned about the 5 Ws and H yet. Also, Chelsea Clinton and Michelle Obama are currently in Ohio, but neither has offered to fight anyone yet either. Watch out for that left hook.

What are you reading?

I have been tagged by Dave for this meme:

I. You have to look up page 123 in the nearest book around you.
II. Look for the fifth sentence.
III. Then post the three sentences that follow that fifth sentence on page 123.
IV. And then tag five people, just like you were tagged.

But since I’m finishing revising a book instead of reading a book (which would be the nearest if I were), my sentences come from my next novel, The Love We Share Without Knowing.  The lines are from manuscript pages, of course.  Who knows what will be on page 123 of the book format itself.

The thing is there’s not much to me.  I’m a simple guy.  I’m simple that way on purpose.  There was a time when I thought there was more to the world, that it was good to dream and want things.  

As for tagging five people, I hate to select, and am on my way out to an appointment, so consider yourself tagged.  Looking forward to reading others, because I love this particular meme, and the way it emphasize a small pool of words that sometimes get lost in a whole.